Review: 'Big Time Adolescence' stuck in juvenile mode

Pete Davidson comedy, now on Hulu, never shifts out of first gear

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Zeke is a 20-something whose best friend is his ex-girlfriend's 16-year-old little brother. Zeke has no purpose in life other than to hang out, some weed, and dress in cool sportswear. Zeke is a loser. 

It's unclear whether "Big Time Adolescence" realizes Zeke is a loser, and this coming-of-age comedy suffers from its lack of direction and perspective. 

Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck in "Big Time Adolescence."

Zeke is played by "SNL's" Pete Davidson, who seems more than comfortable in the role of a surface-level bro who doesn't take anything too seriously. He hangs out in the parking lot of an abandoned Media Play and occasionally scores with girls, and lives to do it all another day in an endless loop of hazy days and faded nights. 

Monroe ("Locke & Key's Griffin Gluck) is the 16-year-old who spends his free time hanging with Zeke and his pals. They chill in Zeke's late grandmother's house-turned-crash pad where they play video games, shoot the breeze and get stoned. 

Monroe is for the most part straight-laced but Zeke slowly turns him into the friendly neighborhood drug dealer. There's no menace to Zeke — if there were, that might give the story somewhere to go — but he supplies him with drugs which Monroe turns around and sells to his friends, and they split the profits. 

And that's about it. Ostensibly, "Big Time Adolescence" is about Monroe slowly coming to the realization that Zeke is not that cool of a guy, but boy does it take a long time to get there.

So much time is spent focusing on their hang sessions that it seems writer director Jason Orley, who also directed Davidson's "Alive From New York" comedy special, thinks this friendship is super cool, despite the fact that it's never convincing that these two would be friends. Its characters aside, "Big Time Adolescence" has a lot of growing up to do.


'Big Time Adolescence'


Rated R: for drug content, alcohol use, pervasive language, and sexual references - all involving teens

Running time: 90 minutes

On Hulu